Once again, the international book printer Grafotisak has completely modernized its printing press fleet. Without interrupting production, five Speedmaster XL 106 sheetfed offset presses from HEIDELBERG were dismantled and successively replaced by six presses from the same series of the latest generation. The 44 new Peak Performance printing units had to be installed in just nine weeks.

Grafotisak is based in Grude, a town in Bosnia and Herzegovina. Stipan Vranješ founded the family business in 1983 and today it is managed by his sons Nikola and Marko, the second generation of the family. The most important business area, accounting for around 90 percent of sales, is book production for the international market. Key markets are Germany, the USA and the UK, with Taschen-Verlag and Harper Collins among the most important customers. Grafotisak delivers over 25 million books every year.

"Print runs are falling, delivery times are getting shorter and shorter, and cost pressure is constantly increasing." This is how Nikola Vranješ describes the situation on the book market. Publishers are also demanding production methods and products from their suppliers that meet strict environmental standards and have the smallest possible ecological footprint. "We are constantly challenged to pass audits and prove our efforts with regard to the goal of CO2 neutrality," says Nikola.

Grafotisak meets these growing challenges by constantly investing in state-of-the-art production technology. "As a rule, we replace our technology every five years or so, as this is the only way we can maintain our competitiveness in a highly competitive market," says Nikola's brother Marko Vranješ. "Thanks to regular upgrades, we increase productivity and keep our production costs low. The Push to Stop technology from HEIDELBERG and the highly automated processes helps us to do this."

Grafotisak has just completed a new investment cycle and invested a total of over 20 million euros. In March 2024, five Speedmaster XL 106 presses were replaced by six presses from the same latest generation series.

"Our calculations show that sheetfed offset technology is the most economical printing process for us, and with unsurpassed quality."

Nikola Vranješ, General Manager, Grafotisak Bosnia and Herzegovina

Sheetfed offset most economical despite falling print runs

The trend towards ever smaller print runs is also unmistakable in book production. Grafotisak is responding to this challenge by using state-of-the-art offset technology. Nikola Vranješ justifies this with cost efficiency, outstanding printing results, consistent and precise color management and a process standardization that only offset printing can offer today. "Our calculations show that sheetfed offset technology is the most cost-effective printing process for us, with unsurpassed quality."

This economic superiority is supported on the six Speedmaster XL 106 presses by clear operator navigation and automated makeready processes. "The presses are perfectly tailored to Grafotisak's requirements," says Edward Pfeifer, Sales Director Dealer Markets EMEA and Latin America at Heidelberger Druckmaschinen AG. He particularly emphasizes the high productivity thanks to Push to Stop and the simple operator guidance on the Prinect Press Center XL 3 control station.

The Prinect Inpress Control measuring and control technology and simultaneous plate changing via Autoplate XL accelerate makeready processes and contribute to significant savings in waste, he says. Hycolor Pro also enables the dampening solution film on the printing plates to be controlled from the press console and the ink/water balance to be kept perfectly stable even during format changes.

The efficiency gains achieved are particularly noticeable with short runs. "Together with our reliable local service organization, we enable customers to achieve maximum availability of their capacities. We are delighted to be able to support Grafotisak as a partner and help shape the company's success story," says Edward Pfeifer.

Ambitious goal achieved

The deadline from the arrival of the first semi-trailer trucks to the start of production on all 44 new Speedmaster printing units was a tight nine weeks. "It was an enormous challenge that we were happy to take on," says Zoran Mitrovic from Heidelberg Hrvatska, the HEIDELBERG sales office in Zagreb. To achieve the ambitious goal, three installation teams, each consisting of four technicians, were deployed throughout the project.

The fact that the installation could be completed within this short period of time is largely due to the fact that every HEIDELBERG machine is calibrated and tested immediately after final assembly at the Wiesloch-Walldorf production plant before it is sent to the customer.

"The HEIDELBERG team has done a fantastic job," is the unanimous conclusion of Nikola and Marko Vranješ. They describe the commissioning of the six new Speedmaster XL 106 presses as a major step and important milestone for the future of Grafotisak. "Another phase of our work has begun, and together with HEIDELBERG we will achieve our goals. We are happy to have this company as a strategic partner at our side."

About Grafotisak:

  • Established in 1983
  • Head office: Grude, branch offices in Sarajevo, Banja Luka and Tuzla - Bosnia Herzegovia,
  • 600+ employees

Grafotisak

Specialist areas:

  • Book production (90% of the company's revenue)
  • Lever arch files
  • Cardboard packaging
  • Security products made out of paper

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